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Horseshoe Crab Quota Distribution Plan & Landings Summary

The commercial horseshoe crab quota for 2021 is 150,000 crabs pursuant to subdivision 44.3 (b) of 6 NYCRR. The quota distribution plan for horseshoe crab is as follows:

2021 Horseshoe Crab Quota Distribution Plan
Period Dates % Distribution Quota (Crabs) Trip Limit
1 Jan 1 - Apr 15 4% 6,000 30
2 Apr 16 - Aug 31 92% 138,000 150
2-closed May 24 - May 28 closed 0 closed
2-closed June 8 - June 12 closed 0 closed
3 Sept 1 - Nov 30 4% 6,000 250
4 *Dec 1 - Dec 31 To Be Determined To Be Determined To Be Determined

*Period 4 fishery will open if there is quota remaining and 90% reporting compliance.

The Horseshoe Crab Quota Distribution Plan may be modified by NYSDEC subject to the following criteria:

  • Trip limits may be adjusted to spread allocation over each period and avoid fishery closures when possible.
  • Overharvest or underharvest from Period 1 and Period 2 will be deducted from or added to the next period.
  • If there is quota remaining at the end of Period 3, the remaining quota may be made available in Period 4. Initial harvest limits for Period 4 will be determined by the amount of available quota remaining.
  • Fixed gear may remain in-place during scheduled Period 2 fishery closures.
  • If a period's quota is projected to be exceeded, actions may be taken, up to and possibly including closure of the remaining period until the next period, to preserve quota for subsequent periods.
  • Underharvest from 2021 will not be rolled into 2022.

Horseshoe Crab Landings Summary

2021 Horseshoe Crab Landings Summary (# of Crabs)
Week Dates Trip Limit Recent
Period Quota
% Period
Annual Quota
1-6 1/1-2/6 30 0 0 6000 0% 150,000
7 2/7-2/13 30 10 10 5,990 0% 149,990
8 2/14-2/20 30 0 10 5,990 0 149,990

Check the Commercial Fishing Limits webpage for updated harvest limits and fishery status information for the commercial horseshoe crab fishery and other quota managed species in New York. For more information on lobsters, crabs and whelk, visit the Commercial Limits for Lobsters, Crabs & Whelk page.

Keep track of weekly commercial landings by clicking on the "GARFO Weekly Landings" link in the right hand column of this page. The link will bring you to NOAA Greater Atlantic Fisheries Office (GARFO) website where they keep track of weekly records on quota and landing reports for managed species in each state along the Atlantic Coast.

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